Photo-a-day STOP : )

Ok, i’ve been attempting to come up with a photo (at least one) every day for the past 2 months, only posting the images i’ve actually taken on that day. The first 61 days have gone really well but i’ve started to feel the whole process is becoming too pressured in a number of ways. I love taking photos and capturing unique moments in life but now is maybe not the right time for this project.

IMG_4652

We keep a private kids blog for all their home education activities and life adventures and this has been slightly overlooked recently!

My cousin is getting married early in August and my family are making the trip over there from England, including some very interesting destinations along the way (Chicago, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle) I haven’t been to the States for 20 years and this is a once-in-a-lifetime trip. There are just too many things to organise for that!

At the start, the process was useful and the pressure of needing that one shot each day did lead to some good results and some different perspectives, but there are just too many things being affected. I’m finding all the other creative parts of my life are suffering – painting, mixing records, energy for creative ideas for the kids. I’m also finding the time it takes to put the photo post on takes away from other posting ideas, such as sustainability, politics, football and architecture/design.

So, i’ve enjoyed the experience over the last 61 days and maybe there’ll be another series at some point. I’m hoping to blog while in the States for 3 weeks so there should be a few opportunities for some photography while over there (under statement of the century). I’m guessing that i’ll come back with more thanĀ a few photos so that should keep the blog happy for a while : )

out

Advertisements

US military aid and Israeli sanctions…?

I read a few articles a while ago about the continued building of settlements in occupied Palestinian territory and wanted to look a bit further into one of the main reasons why they are able to continually defy international law under full view of the international media and community.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-11968304 (sanctions for illegal settlement building)

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/dec/10/former-eu-tougher-stance-israel (illegal settlement building)

Military funding and spending is part of most countries budgets but the Israeli case is different, in that the percentage of GDP spent on the military is roughly 7% of GDP which is far higher than most other countries. They also received a substantial fraction of their budget from the United States.

http://wrmea.org/component/content/article/245-2008-november/3845-congress-watch-a-conservative-estimate-of-total-direct-us-aid-to-israel-almost-114-billion.html (with figures tables)

The Washington Report on Middle Eastern Affairs carries information on a range of topics concerning that area of the planet. I’ve found some figures on the site which are interesting.

2000-2008 = more than $26 Billion in military aid from USA to Israel.

$4.8 Billion in 2008, half of which was military aid.

In 2009 – (US) $14.3 Billion in total Israeli military expenditure (which equals a massive 7% of total GDP! Most countries are between 1-3% of GDP, but the States also stands out as being high, at 4.3% of GDP)

2008 – (US) $2.3 Billion in military aid (according to the Wikipedia figures)

So, roughly 16% of their total military budget comes from the US Government.

The thing is, in comparison, USA military spending at more than $663 Billion, is equal to the combined total of the next 17 countries spending, down to Greece in the Wikipedia table!

There is little point in the USA on the one hand providing massive funding to the Israelis but with the other trying to resolve the disputes in a non-partisan manner. They lack credibility and are also providing the conditions which will sustain the terrible state of conflict in that region.

out

Fact Check: student fees in England highest in world…?

Interesting article on the comparisons between tuition fee levels in England vs the States.

http://blogs.channel4.com/factcheck/factcheck-student-fees-in-england-highest-in-world/5275

Tuition fees fact check

Well worth a read.

out