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[snip] No good deed will go unpunished. Writing in In These Times, Brian Cook describes the House Republicans' immigration bill that has sparked megaprotests: "The act defines 'smugglers' of immigrants so broadly that it would include a counselor helping victims of domestic violence, a church volunteer providing them with food or clothing, or a worker driving a fellow employee to the bus stop. Such senseless acts of kindness [by citizens or noncitizens] could be rewarded with up to five years in prison."

[snip] "The administration on Iraq resembles nothing so much as a dysfunctional school system," writes Jeff Taylor at, "ducking being held to any objective standard or goal, complete with apologists ready to trot out all manner of meaningless metrics in its defense. Yet the obvious fact remains that the invasion of March 2003 was a mistake because no identifiable strategic benefit was likely to accrue to the U.S. from that invasion. Three years on we are still waiting for that benefit to be identified, much less secured."

[snip] All you need to know about the rest of this century. Michael Specter writes in the New Yorker, "China and South Korea are raising basic research budgets by ten per cent each year. This year, America's will drop by one half of one per cent. In 2004, more than six hundred thousand engineers graduated from Chinese universities. In India, the number was three hundred and fifty thousand. In America, the figure was not quite seventy thousand. For the first time, the United States now imports more high-technology products than it exports."

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