Saturday, March 27, 2010

South Africa, Israel, and Tea Parties.

  • Earlier this month South Africa started the 100-day World Cup countdown. In 2004 I studied for 8 months at the University of Pretoria (Go Blue Bulls!!). During that period FIFA announced that South Africa would host the 2010 World Cup. Our group of exchange students (around 10) told each other that we would all be there. So, now 6 years later, I have tickets for 5 matches (the group, the 2nd round and the quarter final). To make me even more exited the BBC's Jonah Fisher already bungee jumped off Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium. 73 more days to go!
  • Israel's prime minister - Bejamin Netanyahu - was in the US last week to talk with President Obama about Israel's government’s policy of continued building in East Jerusalem; a major point of contention with the Obama administration (see among others here and here). I just can't help to think about a drawing I saw some weeks ago:

  • Title: Haiti launches plan for reconstruction...
    Builder 1: "Why are most of the constructed houses built on the wrong side of the border?"
    Builder 2: "Israeli construction company..."
  • Since beginning 2009 so-called Tea Party protests are taking place throughout the Unites States. Today there was another big one in Nevada: the wise, competent and I-really-want-her-to-be-the-new-US-president Sarah Palin also gave a speech (see here. Please know that I am sarcastic!). These Tea Party protests - a reference to the Boston Tea Party that protested taxation without representation - are a series of nationally-coordinated protests against a prominent role for the US government in the economy: they for example dislike a high tax rate in the US and are against the recent health care reform. In a great piece, Bruce Bartlett argues that the views of the "Tea Party crowd" are based upon false beliefs about the burden of federal taxes.

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