Switzerland has long been a nation that provides an excellent example of how to thrive in a world full of political conflicts and corrupt politicians. The nation is not a federation, like America or Canada, in which a central government has dominant power and the state or provincial governments are subordinate. Switzerland is, instead, a confederation. The cantons retain a high degree of constitutional autonomy — much more than any other affluent industrial democracy in the world.
Ethnic violence is rocking Kyrgyzstan. Uzbek citizens of the central Asian nation are alleging atrocities committed against them by Kyrgyz gangs roaming those parts of their nation in which ethnic Uzbeks form a significant part of the nation. The death toll so far stands at 117 killed with many more homes burned and Uzbeks injured. This is particularly curious because Uzbekistan has almost five times as many people as Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan has twice the land area as Kyrgyzstan.
The New York Times on June 14 quoted a statement from General David Petraeus, commander of the United States Central Command (USCENTCOM) that there could be as much as $1 trillion in mineral deposits in Afghanistan, including significant deposits of lithium, an alkaline metal with numerous industrial applications, including lithium batteries.
AP reported statements from NATO leaders on June 11 declaring that the alliance had “regained the initiative” in the Afghan war, along with promises that the gains could result in a handover of security responsibilities to Afghan authorities by the end of 2010.
The New York Times — the newspaper whose reporter Walter Duranty won a Pulitzer Prize in 1932 while deliberately covering up Joseph Stalin’s starvation of the Ukrainian people — has apparently changed its tune on the subject of communism in the decades since.
After rattling markets last week with fears of a default, the Hungarian government announced a series of measures earlier this week including spending cuts, tax-policy changes, and a new tax on the financial sector aimed at satisfying international institutions and containing the nation’s public deficit.
In 2005 the U.S. Supreme Court, in the case of Kelo v. City of New London, ruled that governments in the United States have the right to steal their citizens’ property and transfer it to private developers as long as it serves a “public purpose,” namely bringing in more tax revenue. Thus, according to the court, the city of New London, Connecticut, was within its rights to evict Susette Kelo and others from their property in order to hand the property over to Pfizer for development — development that, in fact, never materialized.
In hindsight, the Steering Committee in charge of the annual gathering of elites known informally as the Bilderberg group could have chosen a better — or at least a safer — venue for this year’s gathering than Sitges, Spain. The stunning Mediterranean resort near Barcelona, known far and wide as Spain’s most decadent locale (think San Francisco’s Castro district, New Orleans’ Bourbon Street, and Palm Beach all rolled into one), just happens to be near one of several Ground Zeroes of the European economic meltdown — Madrid. (Another Ground Zero, of course, is Athens, near where the “Bilderbergers” convened last summer.)
It happens every year in June, somewhere on the face of the Earth where there’s enough security and affluence to accommodate a gathering of the world’s most exclusive club. This weekend it’s happening in the Spanish Mediterranean resort of Sitges, near Barcelona, where the ultra-elite Bilderberg group is meeting at the heavily guarded Dolce Hotel.
"There has been a overwhelming criticism, both nationally and internationally, against the alleged “attack” on the so-called Freedom Flotilla by the Israeli Defense Force. Mainstream media outlets originally reported that boats filled with “peace activists” were attacked by violent armed Israelis. In fact, words like “slaughter” and “genocide” were used in reference to the event. Of course, as it turns out, the “peace activists” were in fact terrorists, a minor detail that has been conveniently left out in most reports on the incident.