Twenty months have passed since the citizens of Switzerland voted to amend their constitution and ban the future construction of Muslim minarets, but only in recent days has it become clear that the will of the Swiss people may be allowed to stand.
The notion that government can keep robbing Peter to pay Paul indefinitely was always unrealistic. The creation of “entitlements” did not happen in America under FDR, as many people think. Bismarck, the Iron Chancellor of militaristic Imperial Germany introduced old age pensions, workers compensation, and related state programs in an effort to placate German socialists, which were a major power in German politics.
There is a theme to news stories about the PIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain) in the last few years: Rosy projections always turn out worse than expected. So it's of little surprise that Reuters announced on July 11 that the recession in Greece is worse than the “experts” had predicted.
Europe’s slow-motion economic collapse continues apace as Eurozone governments and banks continue to wring their hands over what to do to postpone the inevitable Greek default. And now there’s a new wrinkle: Italy, whose level of sovereign indebtedness relative to GDP is second only to that of Greece, has suddenly appeared on investors’ radar screens. If Italy — the second largest economy in the Eurozone — goes the way of Greece, Ireland, and Portugal, there will not be enough money in Europe’s rapidly-dwindling rescue fund (the European Financial Stability Facility or EFSF) to effect a bailout.
Pills found on board a 2nd century B.C. shipwreck were packed with crushed carrots, parsley, onions, alfalfa, and other vegetable matter, conforming to the recipes contained in ancient medical treatises.
Americans know the term "stagflation"; the decline in economic activity accompanied by an artificially inflated money supply is what Europe is presently experiencing. On Thursday, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet announced that the ECB had raised its interest rates 1.5 points and suggested that this action, intended to contract the money supply, might be pursued more aggressively in the future — even though the so-called "PIGS" nations of Europe (Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain) need influxes of money in order to prevent default.
The British government has given the nod for abortionists to hawk their services on the “telly.” As reported by the London Telegraph, “Private clinics which carry out abortions will be allowed to advertise on television and radio for the first time, under new rules.” The Telegraph reported that with recently approved recommendations, “drawn up by the Broadcast Committee of Advertising Practice, which regulates TV and radio commercials, dozens of independent hospitals carrying out abortions will be able to advertise their services to consumers.”
Wednesday, the financial crisis which is threatening all Europe deepened, as the rates for Portuguese government debt instruments jumped higher based upon a decision by Moody’s rating service to reduce those bonds four levels to "junk" status. The drop was from Baa1 to Ba2 on long-term Portuguese bond ratings.
Eurogroup President Jean-Claude Juncker said in an interview over the weekend that the austerity measures being imposed on Greece in exchange for additional bail-out funding from the IMF will result in “the sovereignty of Greece [being] massively limited. ” He added, “One cannot be allowed to insult the Greeks. But one has to help them. They have said they are ready to accept expertise from the euro zone.”
Thanks to a massive grassroots pro-life campaign, lawmakers in Poland have cast an initial vote in favor of legislation that would ban all abortions in that country. As reported by the website LifeNews.com, the effort was headed by the Polish pro-life group PRO Foundation (website graphic, left), which organized a grassroots campaign to lobby members of Parliament to support the measure. Additionally, noted the pro-life website, “the nation’s Catholic bishops have also played an integral role in advancing the legislation.”