The stock market in Europe took another hard hit when the Greek Finance Minister announced that his nation’s government will not meet its deficit reduction goals.

Not every nation and not every culture grants women the rights that they enjoy in America or those nations we usually call “Western” nations. Consider Najalaa Harriri of Saudi Arabia. She and other Saudi women began a campaign to be allowed to drive cars in June. The religiously orthodox kingdom observes closely the precepts of Islam, and the interpretation given to the Moslem rulers of Saudi Arabia is that activities like driving cars is restricted by Islam to males.

Today the German parliament voted overwhelmingly, 523-85, to increase the size of the European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF) from $335 billion to $600 billion, and to allow it to purchase sovereign bonds, lend to profligate governments, and strengthen banks hurt by holding risky government debt. 

In what appears to be another incident in a troubling trend across Great Britain, police in the community of Blackpool in northwest England have threatened the owner of a Christian coffee shop with arrest for displaying Bible passages on a television screen in his shop.

“I have read that Americans are peace-loving,” 58-year-old Pakistani writer Syed Zubair Ashraf told the Washington Post. “But their government has interfered in every country. Why?”

That is an excellent question, and one to which Americans ought to give serious consideration, especially as a presidential election approaches. Few Americans would consider themselves warlike. Who among us would choose to drop bombs on a foreign country at his own expense and risk? Yet the U.S. government, claiming to represent the American people, does so routinely — and then blames the inevitable retaliation on foreigners’ hatred of the United States’ liberty, not its government’s foreign policy.

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