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After offering free meals to unionized workers, it was only suitable for the government’s next announcement to be about free bulbs: the government will subsidize 83% of the 24-shekel-apiece cost for 1.5 million compact fluorescent bulbs.

The government’s idea is that CFL bulbs are economically viable. If so, why not let the consumers decide what benefits them? A quantity so small as 1.5 million bulbs is irrelevant to the market, but provides a huge subsidy for importers. Also, the Israeli price of about $7 for a 20W CFL bulb is absurdly high, driven by restrictions on imports; liberalizing import restrictions would bring prices down without government interference.

The Knesset Science Committee Chairman presented statistical data supporting the view that gender separation in science classes significantly improves the performance of girls by removing intimidating competition from boys.

Russian initiative in Iran blown upBy loading its own uranium rods into the reactor, Iran rejected both the Russian compromise of exchanging its stock of enriched uranium for foreign-made rods and, implicitly, the Bushehr reactor agreement under which Iran had promised to buy rods from Russia and return the spent rods there.

Now, as we predicted years ago, Iran can start running Bushehr and the research reactor with its own rods and extract plutonium from them.

But Iran does not even need a bomb. According to an off-the-cuff statement by a member of the Iranian Consultative Council, they do not need a bomb, “when we can make enough powder now for the Zionist’s streets to ensure that for generations the children will be even more twisted than the parents.” The “powder,” presumably, is a dirty bomb or a toxin.

February 2012
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