Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Friday, February 08, 2008
Toon: Future Stimulus Packages
A few hundred dollars doesn't mean squat when you're about to lose your house because you've been conned into a subprime mortgage. A few hundred dollars doesn't mean squat when you don't have a job. Maybe you can buy food and heat for a month or two, but what about the next month? Also, the last thing most Americans need to do with their money is spend it--most need to pay off debt with it.
As for those other things that piss me off, here are some notes about the four other stupid quick fix stimulus packages:
- The Education Rebate. Remember Bush's horrible SOTU address last year, when he spent half his speech randomly singing the praises of those awful bogus "Baby Einstein" videos? If Bush is so misguided as to ignore the research that says no child under two should spend ANY time in front of any type of television or computer screen, I figured he might be deluded into thinking that one Baby Einstein DVD per student of any age could solve our educational crisis.
By the way, I thought about somehow trying to explain or indicate why this girl was a high school dropout, but then I thought it was beside the point. Maybe she went to a crappy school and fell through the cracks. Maybe she got pregnant and didn't get the support she needed to stay in school. Maybe she had such horrible underfunded overcrowded schools since she was young that she never developed a love of learning. Who knows?
- The Hunger Healer. This is real, actually. Back during the initial stages of the Afghan war, the U.S. tried to assuage/offset any small guilt about dropping all those bright yellow cluster bombs on civilians by dropping bright yellow packages of food along with the bombs. Food that looked like bombs, often burst or spoiled on landing, led children into minefields, and made many Afghans very sick. And yes, each packet contained PB&J. Which is fine if you know what that is and how to eat it and you don't have peanut allergies. Here are some quotes from a Boston Globe piece ("Afghan Food Drops Found to Do Little Good") about the backlash to this ill-conceived faux-humanitarian effort:
The Bush administration's much publicized food ration airdrop in northern Afghanistan - hailed by the Pentagon as a way to feed starving residents while winning their loyalty - achieved neither goal in many targeted areas, military experts, aid workers, and a report by retired US special forces officers now conclude.
...The bright yellow plastic-wrapped meals ruptured upon impact because they were dropped from too high an altitude and spoiled, endangering the Afghans who ate them, the report by the retired officers said.
Moreover, the meals often were collected by local warlords and sold for a profit at Afghan markets and seldom reached hungry families, according to aid workers. In other cases, Afghans were lured by the bright packages into minefields or confused them with cluster bombs of the same color.
- The Nature Stimulator. CFL bulbs are great. They're all I have in my house, and they sure do save a little bit of energy. But promoting the false idea that every American making one TINY change is somehow going to be enough to stave off global disaster is ridiculous. Sure we should all do our part--but we need much more drastic and widespread change as a society to make a real difference. We need real regulations on corporate polluters and real tough emissions standards and smaller more efficient vehicles and better public transport and a whole lot more than just a CFL bulb in every house. Etc.
- The Peace Patch. This is just in reference to all those Iraqis who were supposed to love their U.S. liberators. It's kind of hard to love the people who shot your innocent husband for driving slightly too fast past a checkpoint you just set up at random.
Saturday, April 14, 2007
164 pages of scientific proof that abstinence-only education doesn't work
WASHINGTON --Students who took part in sexual abstinence programs were just as likely to have sex as those who did not, according to a study ordered by Congress. Also, those who attended one of the four abstinence classes that were reviewed reported having similar numbers of sexual partners as those who did not attend the classes. And they first had sex at about the same age as other students -- 14.9 years, according to Mathematica Policy Research Inc. The federal government now spends about $176 million annually on abstinence-until-marriage education. Critics have repeatedly said they don't believe the programs are working, and the study will give them reinforcement...