Military expenditure cuts can keep USA as a world power


This is sad ...

The USA military expenditure, according to 2005 figures is US$ 548,531,000,000 per year.

This is almost 6 times more than the second largest military spender (China).

A simple calculation shows that the US can cut their defense spending by half, and still be at 3 times more than China.

This could balance their budget over the years too, and perhaps cause economic growth as well, while keeping them as the best defended country in the world.

Study shows that Canadians have better life expectancy than Americans


A new study in the USA shows that life expectancy for Canadians is more than in the USA. The study measured health-related quality of life (HRQL). The HRQL for people over 40 years is better in Canada. The health adjusted life expectancy (HALE) for a 19 year old was 2.7 more years in Canada than in the USA.

Two cited reasons are:

a) Universal health care in Canada

b) the higher degree of social inequity in the USA

Ahmad Mattar, Obama and Arabs


The Iraqi poet Ahmad Mattar has always been a vocal critic of the Arab rulers and the silence of the Arab populace, with witty sarcasm and brilliant literary creativity. In a previous article, we gave a few examples, of his criticism of Saddam and the general downfall of Arab contemporary state of affairs.

He has a new poem on Obama, which is given below with an English translation. Even though it is titled Obama, it is really an inward looking poem lamenting the state of the Arabs.

Shaaban Abdel Rahim, popular Egyptian singer cautious about Obama's win


One of the culture phenomenons everywhere is the emergence of unlikely entertainers suddenly, gaining fame in a short time, and everyone listening to their music/performances.

In the USA this is often a result of a mighty marketing machine behind mediocre talent, coupled with tabloids gossiping about the latest juicy rumor (e.g. Britney Spears).

In Boston for DrupalCon


I arrived in Boston in the afternoon after a fairly easy trip.

On the way from Waterloo to Pearson International Airport, Highway 401 was being repaired for potholes and the van driver took alternative backroads. This was a very scenic route with parts of the Niagara Escarpment, farms with cattle outside, and roads less traveled.

Canadian Dollar reaches parity with US dollar, peg of oil producing Gulf countries ending


The US Dollar is losing value fast,
compared to other foreign currencies. This is due to many factors, the most recent of which is the credit crisis for housing mortgages in the USA. The long term ones is the debt for financing the invasion of Iraq, and the ongoing cost associated with that.

U.S. CEOs earn in a day what workers make in a year


The gap between rich and poor is widening. An example from the USA, is that a CEO makes in one day, what a worker makes in an entire year.

Chief executive officers of big U.S. companies earned roughly as much each day last year as the average American production worker did in 12 months, according to a study published Wednesday by advocates of a higher U.S. minimum wage.

The CEOs were paid an average $10.8 million US — including salaries, bonuses and stock options— or more than 364 times the average worker's $29,544, the authors say.


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