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Week in Review
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What the Body Count counts...
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Macro-scale News
Max Tegmark in SciAm: A 4-level Multiverse, composed of an infinite number of parallel universes... (article)

NYT Multimedia:
Self-Reproducing Cosmos
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Kansas School Invasion
  .   .   .

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CAPPS 2 Delayed (...story)
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"I hope we shall ...crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country." - Thomas Jefferson (ref...)
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Clear Channel to Bush
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Gen. Franks: U.S. Constitution Won't Survive an Attack (...story)

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Bill Maher: Forget the Peace Corps, we need a piece-of-ass-corps! (...article)
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Japan: Sea Red With Dolphin Blood (...articles)
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Richard Nixon, referring to the report by the Warren Commission: "it was the greatest hoax that has ever been perpetuated". (...ref)

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"The next generation will be the most infertile and the most obese in the history of mankind and it might also have the worst mental health," said Russell Viner, University College, UK. (...source)

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Theresa Heinz Kerry Bio
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Democrats 2004
John Kerry
John Edwards
Howard Dean
Wesley Clark
Dennis Kucinich

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John Kerry family (...article)
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Whoops!
Ms Jackson's Nipple Shield
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Business against Cuts
Drums of War
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Multiverse by Tegmark
Baby Seal Slaughter
Space War Plan
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Bush Serves a Turkey

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Saudi Secrets
28 pages blacked out from the 1st 911 congressional commission report, supposedly regarding the Saudis, too secret to tell. (...story)

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Strange Object on Mars (...more)

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Lhasa: China's Berkeley
"We came here to get away from our old lives, and to experiment with the Tibetan lifestyle" (...story)


Previous issues:

  6.18.03
  5.18.03
  4.22.03
  4.14.03
  3.20.03

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Contact Editor

03/01: Iraq- Truth or Consequences ...

Just before the Kay Report rekindled the question, Andrew Card said finding WMD in Iraq was "a moot point". Well, policy by deception is never a moot point. And this kind of thinking is not 'worthy of the office'. Beyond the severe damage to American credibility, the reason deception is off the charts in policy decisions is simple: if the reasons put forward for going to war are not the real ones, then there can not have been any discussion of the wisdom of goals and method. It seems the overriding reason for the war was in fact to seize the only Arab country we could, establish a major base in the midst of the middle east from which to project american power in an increasingly anti-american region, to better control geo-political development in the area, and guarantee the future flow of oil. Was this a good idea in the first place? If so, was invading Iraq the smartest way to do it? Was an open-ended confrontative presence in the heart of Arab mideast the best way to deal with a rising anti-western jihad? We never had those debates.

And, as in the case of recent massive legislative packages prepared in secret by the republicans in congress, the cloak of secrecy allows lots of other purposes which might not survive public scrutiny to be mingled in the policy process- in the case of Iraq, such drives aimed to finally get rid of Saddam, "defeat the terrorists in Iraq so we don't have to face them in our own country", launch a hypothetical wave of democratisation in the mideast, gain control of huge oil reserves, be in a better position to threaten Syria, Iran, and even Saudi Arabia, demonstrate the new policy of pre-emption in action and send a warning message to other rogue regimes, re-establish America as the indispensable power to be feared and placated in any theater of the world.

In fact, the Iraq invasion was clearly part of a wider policy of taking advantage of overwhelming American force superiority to aggressively shape the world to its own benefit. (see PNAC pdf) With the administration browbeating the public with terror threats, this uber-policy itself was never discussed; and now that the first execution of that policy has occurred without relevant discussion, the Bush administration asks the world to forget about these questions, and focus on bailing it out of the mess it created... without, of course, limiting its power in any way.

The administration's justifications for urgent war, Iraqi WMD and support of AlQuaeda, look even more surreal in retrospect, what with Saudi Arabia now so obviously the big Al Quaeda sponsor, and Pakistan the most likely Al Quaeda source for real WMD (...ref). So while we chased dragons in Iraq, the real problems on both scores reside with our principal 'allies' in the region, whose efforts on proliferation and Islamist funding have been opaque at best.
Such is the power of obsession.

And if you haven't yet read our previous pieces re Iraq Occupation, they are still very pertinent:
June 18: Quicksand in Iraq ... May 18: Bait Taken ... April 22: Hot Potato

A footnote: Iraqi Shiite Mega-Cleric Ali Sistani has a website. If you ever wondered what sharia was, here are the laws in all their detail- (... website)

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Skullduggeries, Investigations, and Commissions of Inquiry

The Kay and Hutton WMD Iraq Reports Absolve Bush and Blair, put the blame on CIA and BBC respectively.
(Read an analysis...)

UN Bugging Scandal
It appears the US and UK bugged phone lines at the UN last spring... Blair government drops case against UN spy scandal whisteleblower Katherine Gun (... story). Ex-minister Claire Short says US and UK bugged UN's Koffi Annan in run-up to war (... story) ... Annan reacts... Hans Blix, Richard Butler, and Boutros Boutros Ghali said they think the US bugged their phones too (...story)

Now They Tell Us
"In the period before the war, US journalists were far too reliant on sources sympathetic to the administration. Those with dissenting views -and there were more than a few- were shut out. Reflecting this, the coverage was highly deferential to the White House. This was especially apparent on the issue of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction- the heart of the President's case for war. Despite abundant evidence of the administration's brazen misuse of intelligence in this matter, the press repeatedly let officials get away with it. As journalists rush to chronicle the administration's failings on Iraq, they should pay some attention to their own."
By Michael Massing February 26, 2004 NYRB: read article

Disappearing the Dead
Project on Defense Alternatives Report:
"Among those endeavors that a state or a people may undertake, none is more terrible than war. None has repercussions more far-reaching or profound. Thus, a grave responsibility to one's own nation and to the global community attends any decision to go to war. And part of this responsibility is to estimate and gauge the effects of war, including the collateral damage and civilian casualties that it incurs. ..
Distortion of the civilian casualty issue can only serve to impede the sober assessment of US policy, policy options, and their consequences," states a draft copy of the report, provided to the Globe. "It is antithetical both to well-informed public debate and to sensible policy making...Until US political and opinion leaders disabuse themselves of the `new war' ideology, the nation will be brought to war easily, but left unprepared for and perplexed by the consequences that follow." (... Boston Globe story) (...Report Text)

A powerful film for the Kucinich campaign shows the war's seldom-seen in America effect on innocent Iraqi civilians. (...view flash)

Terror Prosecutor Sues Ashcroft
A federal prosecutor in a major terrorism case in Detroit has taken the rare step of suing Attorney General John Ashcroft, alleging the Justice Department interfered with the case, compromised a confidential informant, and exaggerated results in the war on terrorism. Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Convertino of Detroit accused the Justice Department of "gross mismanagement" of the war on terrorism in a lawsuit filed late Friday in federal court in Washington. Convertino also accused Justice officials of intentionally divulging the name of one of his confidential terrorism informants (CI) to retaliate against him. The leak put the informant at grave risk, forced him to flee the United States and "interfered with the ability of the United States to obtain information from the CI about current and future terrorist activities,"(...story)

Halliburton Follies:
French prosecutors are considering naming former CEO Dick Cheney in a bribery scandal (ref); Nigeria, where the bribery allegedly took place, is opening its own investigation. Halliburton hired James Doty of the law firm Baker Botts to conduct an internal investigation into allegedly corrupt payments the company made in Nigeria in the late 1990s when Vice President Dick Cheney was CEO. (Baker-Botts is also representing the Saudis in the suit brought by the families of victims of 9/11.) Halliburton is being investigated for overcharging the US for meals to soldiers and for gasoline in Iraq; 2 employees have been fired for taking lucrative kickbacks from Kuwaiti sub-contractors.

White House Stonewalling 911 Commission
says Nebraska's Senator Kerrey

"What we got was a summary that had been modified substantially with many things taken out," said Kerrey. "I have not seen everything I need. The summary was confusing and limited, and does not inform anyone reading it what was going on in the White House from February 1998 to September 11 2001." (...article)

"They don't have any excuse because the information was in their lap, and they didn't do anything to prevent it."
-Senator Richard Shelby, then ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee; member of the joint intelligence committee that investigated 9/11

"I don't believe any longer that it's a matter of connecting the dots. I think they had a veritable blueprint, and we want to know why they didn't act on it."
-Senator Arlen Specter, a Republican member of the joint intelligence committee that investigated 9/11

Plame Investigation
3/03: Air Force One phone records subpoenaed (...story)
Update WashPost Feb 10
Prospect on Plame Gate (...article Prospect)

Scalia on DuckHunting with Cheney:
"It's acceptable practice to socialize with executive branch officials when there are not personal claims against them. That's all I'm going to say for now. Quack, quack." (...ref)

House Republican CyberBurglary
2 House Republican Staffers resign in probe...( story) Criminal charges on the way? (... TPM story)

Dubious Appointments
Bush appointed William DeWitt to the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board; DeWitt is a Bush friend and fundraiser from Cincinnatti who has no relevant experience whatsoever. The board oversees a constellation of intelligence gathering agencies: the Central Intelligence Agency, the military branches' intelligence agencies, the National Reconnaissance Office, and others. The Bush administration would not say how often the board meets, the number of staff, or the board's budget.

Bush appointed Lawrence Silberman, a right-wing judge, to chair the Iraq WMD commission.
"The senior judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington has been near the febrile center of the largest political scandals of the past two decades, from the rumored "October surprise" of 1980 and the Iran-contra trials to the character assassination of Anita Hill and the impeachment of President Clinton. Whenever right-wing conspiracies swing into action, Silberman is there." (...story)

Also named to the commission was Sen. John McCain, seen by many as a guarantor of independence. McCain was in New Hampshire recently campaigning for Bush. "I have some disagreements with him, but that doesn't mean that I think his overall record doesn't deserve re-election. I think he does." McCain said. (...ref)

Bush named Army Lt. General William G. "Jerry" Boykin Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence. The top Pentagon official assigned the task of capturing Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein is reported to have said of a Muslim warlord in Somalia, "I knew that my God was bigger than his. I knew that my God was a real God, and his was an idol." (...ref)

George Bush and the Treacherous Country
By Steve Erickson, LA Weekly, 2/13/04
"Nothing about Bush or his presidency makes sense without taking into account the theocratic psyche. Only once you consider the possibility that his administration means to "repeal the Enlightenment", in the words of Greil Marcus, do Bush's presidency and his conception of power, their ends and their means, become comprehensible. Doubt is personally abhorrent to Bush; otherwise he couldn't have assumed the presidency in the manner he did, with decisions and policies that from the first dismissed out of hand the controversy that surrounded his very election." (...article)

Arab View: The US public diplomacy hoax: Why do they keep insulting us? (...read editorial)

Two independent reports strongly criticize the Bush administration for a damaging politicization of science policy.
"Across a broad range of issues, the administration has undermined the quality of the scientific advisory system and the morale of the government's outstanding scientific personnel... this behavior has serious consequences for all Americans," said UCS Chairman Kurt Gottfried. Signatories include 12 Nobel laureates, 11 winners of the National Medal of Science, three recipients of the prestigious Crafoord Prize, the heads of some of the country's leading universities and biomedical research institutes, and two former presidential science advisers ... (...story) / (...story 2)

Bizarre?
A US Intell Agency Planned an Exercise With Plane Crashing Building on Morning of 9/11 Read this story, archived for the record..
And here's the segment from the Lone Gunmen pilot with a plane being commandeered remotely by a rogue government operation and driven straight for the World Trade Center (!) (quicktime 13.5 mb)

Pakistan- At The Edge of the Abyss
Two determined assassination attempts on Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in as many weeks, involving sophisticated explosive devices and suicide bombers, make it clear that Al Quaeda has decide to kill him. Why now? Have they prepared something to follow? Pakistan, remember, as opposed to Iraq, is loaded with WMD. Nukes, in fact, lots of them; and fleets of American F-16s, French Mirage bombers, and various missiles to deliver them. And Pakistan, as opposed to pre-invasion Iraq, is rife with BinLadenism, particularly in the military and intelligence services. If an assassination succeeded, how long would the administration wait for the smoke to clear, before taking pre-emptive action against the country's nuclear arsenals?

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Elections 2004: Democrats Unite to Unseat Bush

Edwards Kery Clark Dean Gore Kerry

Kerry Emerges Victorious From a Field of Fine Candidates
On Super Tuesday, John Kerry emerged as the candidate who will take on Bush. Read his victory speech here...
Read John Edwards gracious concession speech here.
General Wesley Clark had earlier bowed out and endorsed Kerry: "Sir, request permission to come aboard." (...story)
Read supporters' letters to Clark on his endorsement of Kerry.
Dean gets enormous credit for leading the way. Here's his Super Tuesday Vermont-Victory/Concession Speech... (and his statement on Nader's candidacy.)
On the eve of Super Tuesday, Kerry and Edwards field dueling Op-Eds in the Times, describing pivotal moments in their lives, Kerry the soldier in Vietnam, and Edwards the trial lawyer, getting the common guy his due from a big corporation.

NB: New York's Corporate Crime Crusader Elliott 'Ness' Spitzer endorsed Kerry. (...story)
Peter Coyote writes a good overview on the Democratic race.

02/21:
The Anybody But Bush forces have reason to be encouraged...as the gap between the administration's pronouncements and the reality out there widens, Bush's approval numbers are in free-fall; the Democrats seem eager to unite behind a strong candidate, and have staged record turnouts in all the primaries, which bodes well for the democratic vote in November. But Bush has over a hundred million dollars yet to spend, and the Republicans can be counted on to let loose volleys of nasty rumour and caricaturisation. And, to some degree, the administration can orchestrate the events of state, such as, say, the capture of Osama BinLaden, possibly just in time for the election. So there's still a long way to go before November. Then there are those electronic voting machines... In Florida, the state Division of Elections said touch-screen votes would not be used in a recount. (In one recent local election decided by 12 votes, 134 ballots were inexplicably blank.) Democrats are organizing to vote by absentee ballot, to ensure a paper trail. (story...)
New group set up to monitor this: VerifiedVoting.org

NYTimes Ed on Flawed elections:
"There is a fast-growing list of elections in which electronic machines have demonstrably failed, or produced dubious but uncheckable results." (...NYT editorial)
From Adam Cohen's piece in The NY Times 3/01/04: "You can put in dynamic files that self-destruct after the election... there would be no evidence." (...article)

Related: NYTimes on threat to democracy in rampant republican redistricting. (..story)

Is America Ready for The Wild Kerry Family?
Dad may come off like a stiff, but Mom and the kids are a whole other story. By Rebecca Traister, Salon (... article)

A foretaste of the right wing's coming attacks on Kerry: "Kerry joined Vietnam Veterans Against the War, a motley group of pacifists and schoolboy Lenins declaring its commitment to revolutionary change and funded by "Hanoi" Jane Fonda....Kerry also is being said to pander to the style and febrile hysteria of the sixties generation by leering suggestions that Attorney General John Ashcroft is a racist tool of a WASP elite..."(...read more)

You may have missed Al Gore's rousing speech in Tennessee during the primary there... Al is finding his voice! Here is an audio extract: (audio mp3)

Josh Marshall on Chandler's win ...."the bigger story here is about the Democrats and the Internet, and the way this technology seems to click, shall we say, for the Democratic demographic." (article...)

Richard Bidlack, a 78-year-old retiree from Boonton, N.J., who says he voted for Bush in 2000: "I'm so upset at Bush, I'll vote for a chimpanzee before I vote for him." (...ref)

Pradipto Bagchi, 30, a financial analyst from Manchester, NH told the New York Times: "It hurts to vote this way, but I think George Bush has been a disaster, and if my cat had the best change of beating Bush, I'd vote for my cat." (...ref)

"I would vote for anybody else. I would even vote for Donald Duck" said David Castillo, a businessman and Vietnam veteran living in Saudi Arabia, who said he "voted for Bush last time but never again." (...ref) Such remarks are becoming commonplace. Perhaps sensing an opening, Smeagle (aka Gollum) has apparently declared his candidacy for the presidency, recorded here (mp3 audio) as heard live on radiopower.org...

And then there's Arnold....
SM tells why he likes him...

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krugman krugman krugman krugman krugman

Stay Informed! Progressive Web Radio

The following progressive news and talk shows are accessible online. Go to the websites for links to streaming shows.

Air America - Launched April 1 with Al Franken et al.
National Public Radio
Democracy Now

ieAmerica.com closing down; RadioPower.org will webstream the Thom Hartmann show and the Marianne Williamson show.

Thom Hartmann, author of "Unequal Protection" and "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight" does a terrific talk show; he knows alot, and is thoughtful and incisive. (...website)

Marianne Williamson, known for teaching "A Course in Miracles", does a talk show of her own- sort of post new age progressive. (...website)

Jim Hightower, our favorite populist pundit, always scores a bulls-eye. (...website) Jim also does the "Rolling Thunder - Down Home Democracy Tour"

Nancy Skinner, the smart and sassy liberal talk-show host, has taken time off to run for the Senate! (see her website)

Congressman Bernie Sanders sometimes phones in for a show; see his website for more media info; watch his flash movie on "what's really going on in America".

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Kay Jessica Oneill Garafolo RFK2
Soros Vidal Coyote Dawkins Byrd

Who said what... continue to next page....

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Mother Of All Diamonds:
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Teenager, with tale of lust,
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Leonardo DiCaprio's
Film on Global Warming

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Priorities!
Republicans spent 47 milion investigating Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinski. The 911 Commission budget has been capped at 3 million.

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"There is only one reason that I am in the Oval Office and not in a bar. I found faith. I found God."
-George W. Bush (...story)
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America- One-Party State? "Today's hard right seeks total dominion. It's packing the courts and rigging the rules. The target is not the Democrats but democracy itself." (...read article)
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Over-Loaded
Wondering where all the money went? Well, this year there were 587 billionaires on the Forbes list. Last year there were 111. Good year eh? Warren Buffett made 12.4 billion last year. That's about a half million annual teacher's salaries! (... story)
In fact, the net worth of these 500 people accounts for a total of 1.9 trillion dollars! (...NYTimes) 1.9 trillion dollars is 76 million annual teachers salaries!
  .   .   .

"Every gun that is made, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed." -Eisenhower, 1953

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Sharpton- GOP Patsy?
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Hearts and Minds...
"'This fence is here for your protection,' reads the sign posted in front of the barbed-wire fence. 'Do not approach or try to cross, or you will be shot.'
'With a heavy dose of fear and violence, and a lot of money for projects, I think we can convince these people that we are here to help them,''" (...NYT article)
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Mad Cow Disease has been "indigenous in North America" for ten years and could "spread all over the place," experts tell a subcommittee appointed by USDA Secretary Ann Veneman, who says she "does not anticipate that we have a significant issue in this country." Meanwhile, new strains discovered in Italy.. (...story)
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Hacked Election?
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super-volcano
Yellowstone is a Super-Volcano, and "could blow so hard it would make the 1980 Mount St. Helens explosion look like a sneeze" (...story)
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Days of Nixon...
Young Dick and Don
  .   .   .
Nixon to Kissinger, on tape: "The nuclear bomb. Does that bother you? I just want you to think big". (More...)
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ColdWar Coup Revealed
The US passed faulty software to sabotage the Soviets... "The result was the most monumental non-nuclear explosion and fire ever seen from space..." (...story)
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ice-age cometh
Pentagon Eco Warning:
Is an Ice Age Coming?
the North Atlantic Conveyor falters, a new Ice Age comes... fast! (...story)
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Bali Ogas
Bali Ogas photo ex.
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What Country is This?
  • A country where CEOs are paid 400 times their workers, and 500 times a high school teacher is not a model of progress or enlightenment.
  • A country where 750 thousand people are arrested every year for possession of marijuana, and one million people are in prison for victim-less crime, is still in the dark ages.
  • A country where health insurance is too expensive for more than half the population, and where hospital errors cause a million serious casualties a year, is not an advanced country.
  • A country where 2/3 of death row inmates in Illinois whose guilt or innocence could be proved by DNA testing turned out to be innocent. Where men who proclaimed their innocence are more likely to end up on death row than those who 'confessed' and 'showed remorse', and where a state establishment can refuse to review condemnations even when exculpatory evidence is on record.
  • The merging of cops, crooks, and corporations... This and more at TheMemoryHole.org
.   .   .

"Europeans still enjoy free health care for all, cradle to grave; free education through university level; comparatively generous retirement for their elderly; an average of five weeks paid annual vacation, more sick leave, parental leave, and a shorter work week with comparable wages for their workers (French workers, with their 35-hour work week, work nearly a full day less per week than American workers, who now work on average 42 hours per week). Social spending in Europe runs some 50 percent above that in the United States. Environmental, food safety and labor laws are the envy of activists in the U.S. "  more


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