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Government in Action!



Servicemembers Legal Defense Network activists told reporters in June that at least 59 U.S.-trained Arabic speakers have been ejected from the military because they're gay (and in each case despite being a native English-speaker who completed intense, expensive military language school). But a month before that, as symbolic of the government's shortage of Arabic speakers, an official of the U.S.-funded Al Hurra Middle East television service admitted that it had recently, inadvertently, broadcast several pro-terrorist programs (including an hour-long tirade encouraging violence against Jews), attributing the error to the fact that no senior Al Hurra news manager speaks Arabic.

Britain's Home Office said in April that the country's 1,500 most "disruptive" families could soon be moved into special communities by themselves, with 24-hour supervision, if they didn't stop causing trouble (trouble that the Home Office figured has cost taxpayers the equivalent of more than $1 billion to deal with).

Among the tax sweeteners offered by states to welcome relocating businesses is Texas' easy-to-get farmland benefit. When the huge Fidelity Investments company bought a 300-acre plot near Dallas for a new office, it made sure to put 25 head of cattle on the land, which the Boston Herald found reduced its real-estate tax bill by about $360,000 a year under what it would pay without the cattle.

Also, federal farm subsidies continue to be skewed, as well. In May, a coalition of Washington groups unveiled a searchable computer database listing agriculture subsidies by recipient, which revealed what such "farmers" as David Letterman and basketball player Scottie Pippen receive federal funds for incidental farm uses of their land.

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