Our Lopsided Energy Subsidies, Visualized

Here's a look at the various ways in which we subsidize energy (the chart is based on this paper from the Environmental Law Institute). As you can see, the tax breaks for traditional fossil fuels, in the bottom left quadrant, are just massive. The result? The cost of coal and oil are artificially cheap, meaning we use them more, and the companies that extract and sell them reap absurd profits. Is there any neoliberal economic defense for this or is it simply an unfair product of industry lobbying? Anyone know?

As far as the graph goes, I would like to see an animated version that shows how these subsidies have changed over time. The renewable energy subsidies have certainly grown, but how quickly? Have the tax breaks for traditional fossil fuels declined at all?

Via Boing Boing, where Maggie Koerth-Baker offers some helpful context.

via Library of Congress

In the months after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the military to move Japanese-Americans into internment camps to defend the West Coats from spies.

From 1942 to 1946, an estimated 120,000 Japanese Americans, of which a vast majority were second- and third-generation citizens, were taken in their homes and forced to live in camps surrounded by armed military and barbed wire.

After the war, the decision was seen as a cruel act of racist paranoia by the American government against its own citizens.

The interment caused most of the Japanese-Americans to lose their money and homes.

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via Michael Belanger / Flickr

The head of the 1,100-member Federal Judges Association on Monday called an emergency meeting amid concerns over President Donald Trump and Attorney General William Barr's use of the power of the Justice Department for political purposes, such as protecting a long-time friend and confidant of the president.

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North Korea remains arguably the most mysterious place on Earth. Its people and modern day customs are shrouded behind a digital and physical wall of propaganda. Many people in the United States feel that North Korea is our "enemy" but almost none of us have had the opportunity to interact with an actual person who lives in, or has lived under, the country's totalitarian regime.

Even more elusive is what life is like in one of North Korea's notorious prison camps. It's been reported that millions live in horrific conditions, facing the real possibility of torture and death on a daily basis. That's what makes this question and answer session with an escaped North Korean prisoner all the more incredible to read.

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