Death and Taxes 2009: Where Your Federal Tax Dollars Go (Million, Billion, Trilllion, Basketballs)

via Death and Taxes 2009: A Visual Guide to Where Your Federal Tax Dollars Go – WallStats

Nice rundown here of the federal budge and how your tax dollars are spent.   I liked how they were able to embed the videos into the document as well.  It looks like Silverlight is making some application-level progress.

UPDATE: I was thinking more about why I like this chart so much and I realized it’s because of the way that it compares information in proportional circles.  I think this is probably one of the best ways to graphically convey scale and easily allow comparisons. 

Sometimes it is difficult to know, instinctively for most people, the difference between a million and a billion, but seeing the difference between a circle the size of a basketball (9.39 in.) one big enough to fill the gap in the Lackawanna Valley Bridge (800 ft.) and it quickly become apparent to everyone what 1000X actually means.

Now if you take that basketball up to a trillion times (in American english, 1000 billion, in English english a “billion” or a million million) and you have to draw a circle around most of the cool parts of Southern California (18,000 sq. mi.).

So if you think of that basketball as a dollar, think of having to set up enough basketballs to fille up a circle 18,000 sq. ki. across to think of a trillion dollars.

That’s about how much we spend.  You can see that in the chart above (which needs a handy real world comparison as well).

Oh, and can someone check my math.

What Happened Since 9/11

Umm..yea…that’s me…and what I was thinking about today.   If you want to know what I was thinking or where I was 7 years ago today, I remember exactly, and can share. 

Just like the rest of you.

Certain events in history have that effect. 

Also, and this is only something that makes sense if you watch the video and wonder why I didn’t return to the same theme I started with…

There’s a reason the country isn’t together now as it was after 9/11/08.  There’s a reason we don’t feel the unity we did then.  A HUGE FUCKING part of that reason is the war we were lied into.  If you don’t think we were lied into that war, please say so, and I’ll convince you otherwise.  Hindsight is 20/20.  

The other main reason for our disunity is that…well…a lot of things have gone wrong since Bush led us into the desert.  A whole lot.  And we all know it.  What we don’t agree on is what to do about it.  We don’t agree on that at all. 

This is a problem.  A real problem.   We all agree on one thing (shit is fucked up) but we don’t agree on the other (who’s best to fix it).  For whomever is selected to try and fix the problems that we have brought upon ourselves, at least half the country is going to throw up their arms in disapproval and immediately discount the solutions offered.

I’m going to go ahead and go out on a limb here in my virtual abode and offer all my rhetorical, roytorical, logical, factual, emotional, historical, histronical, and whatever-adjective-you-chose reasons why Obama is the better choice in this particular situation.

I’ve been doing so for a little while now, half-assedly.  I just want to let you folks know what you are in store for.  Until those polls start moving back in the right correct direction, my full argumentative arsenal is officially on patrol.

Death, RIP, Belated

“The most unfair thing about life is the way it ends. I mean, life is tough. It takes up a lot of your time. What do you get at the end of it? A Death! What’s that, a bonus? I think the life cycle is all backwards. You should die first, get it out of the way. Then you live in an old age home. You get kicked out when you’re too young, you get a gold watch, you go to work. You work forty years until you’re young enough to enjoy your retirement. You do drugs, alcohol, you party, you get ready for high school. You go to grade school, you become a kid, you play, you have no responsibilities, you become a little baby, you go back into the womb, you spend your last nine months floating…

…and you finish off as an orgasm.”

Some Bad Explosions in Afghanistan

Suicide Car Blast Kills 41 in Afghan Capital – NYTimes.com

KABUL, Afghanistan — A huge blast from a suicide car bomb at the gates of the Indian Embassy on Monday killed 41 people in the deadliest suicide car bombing since the American-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 ousted the Taliban.

Among the victims of the attack, the first in seven years on a regional diplomatic mission in Afghanistan, were at least four Indian citizens: the Indian defense attaché, a political counselor and two other Indian officials. Six Afghan police officers were also killed. Many of the rest appeared to be civilians.

In a statement Monday, President Karzai said the “enemies of peace in Afghanistan” wanted to hurt Kabul’s international relationships, “particularly with India.”

“Such attacks will not hamper Afghanistan’s relations with other nations,” Mr. Karzai said.

A spokesman for the Taliban, Zabiullah Mujahed, denied responsibility. “The suicide bomb attack was not carried out by Taliban, we strongly reject that accusation,” he said by telephone. “We don’t know who carried it out.”

The Taliban frequently disavows knowledge of attacks that cause heavy civilian casualties.

India, meanwhile, is a close ally of Afghanistan. It is building roads and power lines to the tune of $750 million here in what has become India’s biggest bilateral aid program ever.

It has opened consulates in several parts of the country, and promoted initiatives to offer scholarships for Afghan students.

A sad day for many.  It is an unfortunate truth to life that good deed do not body armor make.  The situation is Afghanistan seems to be stagnating, and stagnation in such a place will allow some very bad people to build very deep roots.

And were not doing such a great job at stopping that, either.

The other big bad explosion in Afghanistan this week came from us.

KABUL, Afghanistan — Local officials in eastern Afghanistan said Sunday that an American airstrike killed at least 27 civilians in a wedding party, most of them women and children and including the bride. Officials of the American-led coalition disputed the report, saying that the airstrike killed militants and that there was no evidence of women and children at the scene.

The attack early Sunday in the Deh Bala district of Nangarhar Province was the second in the past three days in which many civilian deaths were reported.

The president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, has ordered an investigation into a helicopter strike on Friday in Nuristan Province in which the provincial governor said 22 civilians had been killed and 7 wounded.

The governor of Deh Bala district, Hamisha Gul, said the airstrike on Sunday came while a group of women and children were walking from the bride’s village, Kamalai, to the groom’s home. Tradition holds that women and children walk with the bride separately from the men.

Mr. Gul said residents had reported finding “so far 27 bodies, including two men, and the others are all women and children.”

He added, “The new bride is among the deaths.”

And so the war continues…